Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday Morning - Cleaning!

While the weatherman predicted rain for this morning it never happen until afternoon. Another missed shot for the waterlevel to go up.

But the sunshine provided a great time for my husband to help one of the son-in-laws figure out why his boat motor wouldn't keep running.

Taking the cover off revealed a nest tucked nicely inside the motor. Above and to the left of the nest is a yellow wire which was chewed right off with about 3 inches missing!

But the bulk of the nest filled the front of that engine! Incredible!

Once he vacuumed it all out with the shop vacuum, replaced the wire and put the covers back on, it started right up!

Now the son-in-law just needs to repair his dock which was damage this winter by the ice of an unusually high waterlevel. (He's on the Douglas side in Area 7-8 where the waterlevel is higher than on our opposite shore.)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A View from the MPA Board Meeting

This was the view tonight from the MPA Board of Directors meeting which overlooks scenic Manchaug Pond. Our third meeting this month, called by the MPA President, to bring the eighteen member Board together seeking their input and direction as to issues including the low water level issue, the dam and the water quality grant. This month has been a steady press of daily phone calls and meetings with local and state officials informing them of the situaion here on Manchaug Pond and securing their help. The continued focus of the President and his Board of Directors the past months has been two fold: the short term success of getting the waterlevel at the appropriate level for the season and secondly, for the long term, addressing the future control of the Manchaug Pond dam.

The MPA extends its sincere appreciation to our local officials, our state legislators, the adminitration of Governor Deval Patrick including the Office of Dam Safety and DEP for their continued help on this issue this spring. We also value the open lines of communication provided by the dam owner to the MPA President and property owners in this process as well as our past working relationship with their dam caretaker who was on duty 24/7. This is only the start of a workable solution to the Manchaug Pond situation.

Blue Skies, Wind and NO RAIN!

Sun again. Wind again. (Don, what does your weather station say, as this is not a breeze we are experiencing?!)

Although we have had a few showers here and there since the flashboards went in and the gate closed down a bit we are not getting enough to get
water to many docks. I did notice a small pontoon boat went in over the
weekend in area 2 of Manchaug Pond and appears to be docked in about 6 inches of water. The sand bar of what used to be Blueberry Island remains exposed.....

... and jeez... lets think creatively now! Maybe we should look into hydro and windpower! We did look into hydro power a couple years ago if we were a district and Alternatives Limited has harnessed the power of the Mumford River under a huge grant already! The town of Hull boast the big wind mill powering 500 homes and Sutton's own King Farm on Central Turnpike now has its own windmill!

A week or more of wind has just got to me!

Rain is in the forecast for the weekend to help bring the waterlevel up. Evaporation is a concern for June, July and August and then there is the dam owner's discussion of maintaining us at the rule curve (instead of their traditional levels above the curve!) and maintaining the 16 cfs for the Town of Douglas Sewage Treatment Plant will take the level down even further. Whitin I hear is closed tight. Well, Steven's is maintaining the flow for the moment!

Sure wish we could go back to the days when Fuddy, our faithful 24/7 dam caretaker for 20 years, reigned!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Telegram Reports Whitin District

Tuesday evening the Whitin Reservoir Association went before the Douglas Board of Selectman to prepare for the meeting which will formalize their watershed district.

The Board of Selectman set the first meeting of the District for June 16th where a vote of at least 60% of the approximately 140 property owners within the district boundaries is needed to establish the Whitin Reservoir Watershed District.

Read of their continued success for yourself :)

(In case you were wondering ... I did not take this photo. It is a satellite photo provided by the internet.)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Start of the Season - Memorial day Weekend

Windy was again the word of the day but the forecast
is calling for a beautiful tomorrow and Monday to start the season here
on the lake. Last night we heard a few fireworks here and there. Today
lawn mowers roared to get ready for cookouts and campers continued to
come into the area. Tonight the country music from a campground filled
the air.

We were amazed at 8:30 tonight and again an hour later to hear and catch a boat zoom up and down the channel, "at full throttle" my husband said, safely navigating through the maze of Manchaug's icebergs. I certainly would be carefully going through the old causeway, but then ignorance is bliss!

And then there are still many properties left high and dry when it comes to the waterlevel. :((

Yesterday's Rainbow

Friday, May 23, 2008

MPA Event! Spring Social June 14th

Mark those calendars! Saturday, June 14th at the YMCA Camp Blanchard facility, the MPA is hosting our annual Spring Social where friends and neighbors of Manchaug Pond get together over morning coffee and danish at the start of the season.

This event is just a casual get together to see old friends, catch up on the
latest after our winter hibernation away from the lake. The MPA
President and other officers and members of the Board of Directors will be on hand
to answer questions you might have on the water level, dam and other
issues relating to our lake. Never missing an opportunity, our 319
Grant Coordinator and 1st Vice President, Marty Jo will have our
educational exhibit set up and has asked Donna Williams of the
Blackstone River Coalition to come in and talk with us at 11:00 about
the big picture of our water quality.

Our first social, organized by the Norman's of Area 5, also included a swap where members brought books, puzzles, life jackets and other items they wanted to
give or trade. Your welcome to bring a few items along this year.

Our treasurer will probably have his scissors and a deck of cards for the
50/50 raffle which is always a hit at the Annual Meeting so don't
forget to bring a buck or two or three.

I'll be sure our inventory of MPA shirts and hats are on sale as well.

So mark you calendar, and plan to attend. The coffee is on us!

your don't mind me dropping a few names! I usually keep names off the
blog to insure privacy but I do want to give credit!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rain and Watershed Run-off Continue

The sun is shining now but this morning, like the last
few days, brought more showers to help bring up the waterlevel.

This photo was taken on Lackey Road in Sutton showing water running down the hill and under Manchaug Road directly to Manchaug Pond. This rain is bringing the lake level up, but not enough for many boat owners around the lake.

The large leafed plant is skunk cabbage. If you travel along Manchaug
Road toward Central Turnpike you'll see the yellow flowers of marsh marigolds growing among the cabbage. These are also found on the Douglas side down Ledgestone Road. Not only is the 4,288 acres of watershed providing precious run-off to raise the level of the lake but it is also filtering a portion of this water. Our 319 nonpoint pollution grant project looks at educating homeowners in the watershed so as to curb activities which adversely impact our lake's water quality. The DEP Healthy Lawns Workshop organized by our 1st Vice President and held this spring is one of many educational efforts the MPA has planned.

The fall 07 and spring 08 clean-up events hauled a couple dump truck
loads of trash out of the watershed with some items - old motors, etc -
not just being unsightly litter but also jeopardizing our water
quality. Having just worked the clean up less than a month ago, I
couldn't believe my eyes when Monday I saw this furnace thing dumped over the banking on Parker Road in Sutton not to mention the McDonald's bags, etc. Ugh!

My husband thought we would need a tow truck or come-a-long to get it out. To my delight this afternoon, I saw it coming down Holt Road in the bucket of a front end loader! My personal thanks to the unknown hero of the neighborhood! You can see the water which flows into Steven's at the bottom of that banking - it was only a matter of time before the oil or whatever other chemicals were in there reached the lake and Mumford River!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What to TaLK About... Districts, Vandals, and Bears! Oh My!

Plenty to talk about this week...

DISTRICT: The Whitin Reservoir group is scheduled to meet tonight with the Town of Douglas Board of Selectman to set the date for the first meeting of the property owners. It is at this first meeting that they will formally vote in a Watershed District. After Sutton gave the MPA a no vote, Whitins continued on as they are only in Douglas to file their bill in the state legislature where it was reviewed a couple legislative committees, passed the Senate and the House twice and reviewed and signed by our Governor. Our MPA President has been told that the people of Whitins are totally prepared for this first meeting of the district. The District Clerk of a nearby lake watershed district continues to mentor them in this process.

DAM VANDAL STRIKES a 3rd TIME: Late yesterday, a call was received by the MPA President from the attorney for the dam owner reporting someone had placed sandbags in front of the flashboards the Manchaug Pond dam.
Unknown to me, I had taken this photo in the morning showing not a drop of water flowing through. The dam owner explained the danger of messing with the dam as the force of the water is phenomenal. The police have been notified and a report filed. The sandbags will be removed in the near future as they present a safety problem if the dam needs to be opened quickly. The dam owner will be sending out another letter to property owners in the near future.

BEAR VISITS UXBRIDGE: Today's Telegram reports Uxbridge Police received numerous reports all over town this weekend of a visiting black bear.
A few years ago, a bear visited a bird feeder here on Manchaug Pond over in the Summer Ct./Bigelow Road area. Check out the following website to get tips as to what to do if a bear visits your neighborhood. Mass Wildlife also recommends you take the suet feeders down from April 1 to December.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Rain brings water level up - still not floating...

Sunday night on beautiful Manchaug Pond...

The rains are bringing up the waterlevel, but some areas of the lake are still high and dry. Our Great Pond is accessible from the Public Access Boat Ramp, just be careful going up the channel and through the old causeway as a couple motors hit rock again this weekend.

As for some of us living on the lake... we are still high and pretty dry. A couple households are enjoying their new found beach and you'll see on the poll they responded that everything is fine. While others are stuck...

My husband is making arrangements for the old 28 footer to go and to replace it with something smaller which he can take out for the winter season and put in when the "tide comes in"! (That's a quote I heard from a campground owner said during our clean-up event. I love it! So true!) My daughters cried that the old boat - 24 years old and still assessed at $7,000! - is leaving as it has a deck on top which they and guests love to canonball off of when we float out in the middle. The lake is too shallow for that now! The pontoons are wet but we are still not floating. I guess I didn't exaggerate when I said we depend on the dam owner...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Congratulations to Whitin Reservoir!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "YIPPEE! Not a drop going over the spillway :)":

We're glad all will soon be in the Water.I live on the douglas res.and have been following the excellent job you've done keeping your residents informed. I wish our web was updated so promply.
enjoy the summer
a neighbor down the lake

Thank you! I am glad you are enjoying the MPA blog over the hill on the Douglas Res. You have a beautiful, quiet lake and I hear the boating and fishing is so much better on your private lake!

As our association's Corresponding Secretary, I started this blog in March of 2006 to offer a means of getting the latest news out quickly and timely - something a hardcopy newsletter can't do. Besides the updates on the water level and water quality, the blog allows a view of the lake to the many seasonal property owners, campers, and day visitors. Others outside our association and community also loved to read of our goals, efforts and achievements as stewards of our water resource. As an informal vehicle for communication, it allows for comments/discussion, polls and the posting of beautiful photos and quips about life on the lake - foxes, eagles, sunsets, etc. Our stat counter tells us we had 1186 visitors so far this month!

But enough about the blog! I should be complimenting YOU and your newly formed association on your great achievement- A WATERSHED DISTRICT!

Tuesday, while Manchaug Pond was cheering the closed dam and new signs at our state ramp, the property owners of Whitin Reservoir took control of their future with the passage of "An Act to establish the WHITIN RESERVOIR WATERSHED DISTRICT!" Yes, their legislation passed! On Tuesday, May 13th, Governor Deval Patrick signed the legislation filed by Senator Richard Moore and Representative Paul Kujawski on their behalf and that of the Town of Douglas. This District will certainly give the property owners and the town of Douglas a strong mechanism to preserve this water resource and put control in the hands of those directly affected and those who know and love it best!

Congratulations! Wish we could boast the same!

Click the title of the post to follow the legislation's passage!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

How Do We Get Water in the Pond?

Anonymous said...

Does the lake water level rise from just rain/runoff or does the lake have natural springs that feed the lakes water supply?
May 14, 2008 9:15 AM

Great question! The lake's water level will rise from both rain and runoff from the watershed. Manchaug Pond is NOT fed by natural springs. (info from Lee Lyman of Lycott Environmental, Inc.) We need rain and soon! Can the rain/runoff bring the water level up quickly so residents and visitors can enjoy a safe season on the lake with swimming, boating, etc? Yes, definitely and I'll get some photos of runoff for you, but the MPA Board of Directors continues to work to address the MPA membership's call for a longterm solution to our dam situation. The dam owner has it up for sale, has moved their operation out of the area and is limiting their day-to-day involvement and liability. Also, as summed up nicely by a local official, in looking at the rule curve and regulations we have a "company interpreting in a conservative manner." This week's good news about the flashboards going in and the gate closed is a short term solution... we need to continue to work for the longterm.

If you would like more information about membership in the Manchaug Pond Association or to get more involved please email the corresponding secretary at This year is an election year if you are interested in serving on the Board of Directors (we have a seat available which used to be occupied by a camper :D - think about it!!) or if you are interested in water quality, want to learn aquatic weed identification, land conservation/preservation, endangered species, boating safety, local history, the newsletter, website or have another talent or interest and want to get involved - let us know!

The MPA can also be reached by mail at MPA, P.O. Box 154, Manchaug, Massachusetts 01526.

Town of Sutton Responds to MPA Request!

Nice sign! I am impressed! What a week.. both the dam and the boat ramp receive major attention here on Manchaug Pond!

The dam flashboards (all seven!) were put in on Tuesday and the low outlet gate closed. The same day, just up the road, the State Public Access Boat Ramp which is managed by the Town of Sutton, received a facelift! New signs, a second mowing, and the port-o-let - which was brought in earlier - is moved to its new location.

Look at that sign! Impressive! State park brown with the Sutton "Rufus Putnam" town seal clearly marking the entrance of the ramp. (Now dead end Irma Jones Road should get less traffic from those lost boaters!) But the excitement doesn't stop there... drive down the ramp to see a host of new signage: where to best park if you are pulling a trailer, if your boat is cartop, or if you need a handicap spot. There's also signage explaining a few do's and don'ts and to encourage you take all those noxious aquatic weeds off your boat motor!

Who do we thank for all this? The new Sutton Town Administrator, James Smith! Seems at a meeting between Mr. Smith and the MPA just a couple months ago, Mr. Smith asked if anything was needed at the ramp. Well, the MPA 1st Vice President, who is also our 319 grant coordinator, had requested the meeting just to update the town on the progress of our 319 NonPoint Source Pollution Progect. (She also met with Douglas!) Accompanied by the MPA Corresponding Secretary (yours truly!), we mentioned the need for signage .... and of course asked for the continued presence of the gatekeeper, gate and port-o-let which was identified as a severe need back in 1990 by the MPA to the Board of Selectman in our request for town.

What action! Detailed and timely!

Thank you, Mr. Smith and crew!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

YIPPEE! Not a drop going over the spillway :)


LOOK! Not a drop going over the spillway!!

I knew this big "green" company would do the right thing for the well-being of Manchaug Pond and the many creatures who live in its watershed!

- once we brought it to their attention :)) Good work everyone!


THE BOARDS ARE IN! all seven of them! AND THE GATE IS CLOSED to the one inch required by DEP for downstream aquatic life. The employee for the dam owner remaining at the mill did this work this morning at 10. (I was on the phone with the Sutton Town Administrator's office at 9:30 and the MPA President right after, so I missed the whole thing! No photos.) He explained the Boards will leak a bit until they swell with water. But we are good for now. Pray for rain and we'll see how fast this lake can come up.

I'll report more after my daughter comes for the grandchildren! It is hard to blog with an 11 month old and a 2 1/2 year old.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dam Owner Notifies MPA the Boards are Going In!..... WHEN?

Here's the lake from the launch at the Public Access Boat ramp on Manchaug Pond this afternoon.

At 4:45, the water was still pouring though the spillway and low level outlet to leave Manchaug Pond lower still.

The MPA President did speak with the attorney for the dam owner as to what is going on. He reports the boards are going in.... WHEN?

I'll report more later...

Enough is Enough - let's hope today is the day!

We're told flashboards have been ordered to go in today!

This information came to us Saturday morning (unconfirmed, but from a state official to two of our board members) - the dam owner did not return our call Friday after their meeting with DEP - but we heard the meeting went in the LAKE's favor.

We'll see what today brings ... promises or action?

BOARDS! The word of the day!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What a Beautiful Day!

What a beautiful day! Sunshine, comfortable temperatures, and a nice breeze to keep the mayflies away as a wonderful backdrop for a day with good company on a beautiful peaceful lake. Last night fireworks were seen on the lake which seemed to mark the start of the season.

This beautiful field of bluets are to be found at the Public Access Boat Ramp on the Sutton side of Manchaug Pond. The boat ramp is owned by the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and managed by the Town of Sutton.

Oh, did I just hear someone ask why the town manages this state owned ramp?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Go back and Check out the comments! And the New photographer!

Go back and take a look at older posts to see what readers have to say...

KGB has left a new comment on your post "Dam FOR SALE to the right owner!":

Instead of putting up a fence, the dam owner should have put in the boards. geesh!

Also check out photos sent in by our newest photographer! He sure did capture two of the happiest workers!

I'd like to suggest that a few of you readers start your own blog! Use sites like Blogger or Wordpress, they make it easy.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Will Fall 2008 be another 2006?

These photos came in late last night. Taken the fall of 2006 at one of the 3 campgrounds directly on Manchaug Pond, this shows the importance of the waterlevel and how the dam owner can make you or break you.

This is a waterfront campsite. The lake begins just after the trees.

The dam owner took the water level down to make repairs to the spillway gate in 2006 - but timing being everything... that drawdown was delayed til fall after the recreation season dies down.

The low water level did have a negative impact on a couple wells, and one cove still reports no peepers or bull frogs since. The lake was brought up immediately after the repairs were completed - impact was minimized as the safety issue was fully addressed.

Today we question the need to maintain the water level low as we have heard of no threat to safety. The dam owner still owns this dam, we ask you to honor your committment and service to this community.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Questions, and more questions....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Boards Still Out, Prop Problems":

So we did'nt get any new info from the May 5th meeting and I saw that the following day could shed some light on the issues. Have we had anymore progress with the dam? Are we just hoping that someone puts the boards in?

Dear Reader, The MPA is looking for two things: 1. Short term - to get the waterlevel up ASAP (Dam Owner! how about 5 of the seven boards!) to a reasonable level to ensure the safety of boaters especially those visitors from the Public Access Boat Ramp and campgrounds who don't know the lake as well; for the health and well-being of aquatic species, amphibians and reptiles; to prevent excessive invasive aquatic weed growth; for the recreation of day campers from the YMCA facility, and the seasonal campers at the 3-4 campgrounds of the watershed; the continued economic health of the family-based businesses on Manchaug Pond and the tourism dollars they bring into our communities; as well as preserving property values of lake and near-lake property owners.
2. Long term - secure a dam owner who is interested in working with us to preserve the beautiful water resource of Manchaug Pond and its watershed.

The May 5th meeting did flush out some facts and intentions as well as a mandate for the dam owner to develop a written action/management for the dam in cases of stormy weather. That doesn't help us with the water level today but will/could in the future. And the Office of Dam Safety did hear the over 100 emails and calls made to their office from a local campground as well as others in state and local government.

We haven't given up hope nor are we sitting back waiting. We are actively building on the May 5th meeting, broadening the circle of people/agencies we are having conversations with concerning the water level. Don't lose hope and if you're a camper - make those reservations as you don't want to lose your spot!

Boards Still Out, Prop Problems

Our MPA President confirmed that as of last night around 6:30 there are still NO flashboards in the dam spillway and the reports received from lake neighbors concerning a fence were true. President Dave confirmed the fence was extended higher around the gate.

We would all like a few flashboards in especially with the rain we had last night. We'll see if the dam owner is hearing our cry from around the lake. I know putting flashboards back into the spillway is definitely a two man job... so perhaps the mill has to find a second man off the street to help the lone millkeeper. I know, I know, about 50 of you would volunteer and be down there in a flash to lend him a hand!! :)) So helpful, concerned and cooperative! That's us! Seriously, let's hope they take action today! This is not making for good relations and it is costing businesses around the lake dearly.

And how about last night's fishing tournament from the club using the state Public Access Boat Ramp?! With 15 plus boats out there, and I was wondering how they were all doing navigating around the rocks especially when they love to fish the shoreline!

Sure enough, as my husband and a neighbor sat and watched them heading home through the old causeway, they heard the all too familiar CLUNK of a motor hitting a rock. Big bucks for those fancy boats, hope it is just a prop that was damaged. How about this one from Battleship Cove in Fall River!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Dam FOR SALE to the right owner!

This blog entry is unconfirmed/unofficial info... I have not seen or
confirmed this myself but heard it from a few sources tonight. I'll
take a walk tomorrow with my camera and check it out for myself and
take a few photos so you can see for yourself.

This is the word on the street - from the Torrey Road to be exact! The neighbors
report... A red truck from Charlton Fence came in and added more fence
to extend the cage around the dam controls. Remember the dam owner reported
two incidences of vandalism to the spillway controls this past month.
Funny, that in 25 years, this is the first vandalism I've heard of or seen - except for couple painted signs.

Anyway, seems the dam owner is trying to secure everything here in
Massachusetts: the mill is empty, the contents sold, the staff reduced
to one or two and the whole package - mill and three dams - is up for sale. But while they are waiting for just the right buyer for the mill or a dam or two, they need to further button things up, limit the liability, tie up the loose ends until it can be sold in whole or in parts.

Too bad our water level, properties, businesses, and front yards are their loose ends!

Water is still flowing out to Steven's. Tonight at about 5:30 when I drove up Parker Road, there was still a good flow coming from the dam. It didn't look like any boards had been put in, yet. We're hearing boards are going in, but only time will tell how
many. I'm hoping a few boards go in before the rain!

The MPA has another Board of Directors meeting this week to discuss the waterlevel.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Dams in the News: Channel 5 Reports the Unsafe

Sunday night the Channel 5 news at 11 highlighted unsafe dams in Massachusetts.

Of course the Manchaug Pond dam did NOT make the broadcast nor did it make the list provided by the Office of Dam Safety.

Check out this link yourself to read the Channel 5 investigation, to view the video broadcast and to check out a pdf list from Dam Safety of unsafe and poorly kept dams.

The past few weeks we have heard some tall tales and good rumors being told about Manchaug Pond and its dam. One of our MPA officers was across town in the Sutton village of Wilkinsonville at a local store only to hear tales being told of the condition of our dam. Again, Manchaug is a well-maintained dam: the MPA has on file years of inspection reports and has been kept informed as to repairs and the like from the dam owner.

This photo taken in October of 2006 by our President during a tour of the dam while repairs and improvements were being made. This is a view of the inside of the spillway.

Manchaug Still Waiting on Waterlevel

Today, the dam owner did meet with the Office of Dam Safety to obtain their recommendation as to how they can best address the guidelines the DCR Office of Dam Safety put forth since the dam owner went through the inspection process two years ago.

Our MPA President did receive the anxiously awaited call this evening and was given details as to what was considered, for how long and by whom, etc...seems the concerns raised by lake residents and businesses were examined and discussed....but as to the outcome of the meeting.... seems there will be more discussion going on by the powers that be again tomorrow.

Our hope is, at the very least, that a few flashboards be put back in the dam... Soon.... Please...

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Whitin Reservoir in Douglas Shares Concern

Here's a photo of the dam at Whitin Reservoir in Douglas, the residents of Whitin share our concern of a low waterlevel.

Both Manchaug and Whitin's dams are owned by the same parent company. With the closing of their mill in Douglas, the contents of the mill was sold off, the mill put up for sale, and the local staff reduced to two employees. The mill utilized the flow of the Mumford River from Manchaug and Whitin to wash the fabric produced at the mill and for their own sewage plant. The water of both Manchaug and Whitin shared this load. Today, no longer needed by the mill, the waters remain a valuable resource for the residents of both lakes and for the downstream activities including the Town of Douglas' sewerage treatment plant which request 16 cubic feet of continuous flow.

In addition to its shoreline residents, Manchaug is also of prime importance to thousands of visitors year round. Many recreational boaters,individuals and families and bass and canoe/kayak clubs who come through the state Public Access Boat Ramp each day or with organized event and tournaments. The lake is also the home of the YMCA Camp Blanchard facility who buses in children for their day camp throughout the summer and have many groups rent their fields and buildings for games and private events. Manchaug Pond also brings in tourism dollars to the area through the three campground on her shores and another at the inlet on Aldrich Pond. And don't forget the beautify views afforded to the visitors of the Water's Farm living history museum, donated by past MPA secretary Dorothea Waters Moran to the town of Sutton.

Rain brings water level up

It has been pretty rainy the last few days with more rain in the forecast.

The rain has brought the water up a couple inches putting the pontoons in the water but we are still not floating. If the flashboards go in, this rain is saturating the ground of the watershed which will make for more runoff to fill us up.

I find it amazing how soon the green plants begin to fill in the newly exposed shoreline.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Another email concerned over the low waterlevel

This was forwarded to the MPA early this afternoon. Just one of many calls and emails we have fielded. This email is another which was sent to the Office of Dam Safety who is welcoming the input of residents and lake users.

"I have been a summer resident of Manchaug Pond in Douglas MA since 1984. During that period we have seen many years of high water, thanks to the stewardship of Guilford Industries (Interface, as it is now known). They were forever watchful of weather forecasts and would react to impending situations before they became problems.

The spillway at the dam has been adequate all these years and as I can recall the flashboards were very seldom used to control the water level. The low-level gate had always been sufficient. I feel that if the continued monitoring of weather conditions and lake level continues there should be little concern about the safety of those downstream.

My concerns also go to septic systems. Each year, there would be a drawdown of the water in the fall to prevent damage to walls, etc from ice, allow for some repairs if necessary, and to help control the weed growth in the pond. One year the MPA requested that the water be lowered and kept lower than usual for the winter. We were advised that the lower level for an extended period of time would effect the hydraulics that work in keeping septic ground water from entering the lake. This way beyond my knowledge but it may be possible.

Your consideration of this information would be appreciated."

Comments from members on the low water level

Here's an email just in from Manchaug Pond's Area 8:

To: Tom.Famulari@State.MA.US

Please raise the water level back to historically normal levels at this time of year.

Although everyone agrees safety is paramount, please emphasize to the dam owner your guidelines are not intended to unreasonably interfere with recreational use of Manchaug Pond.

Thank you for your help

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Concerned about Low Water - tell Dam Safety!

I've only been on the lake about 25 years. But this was a first for me... seeing this little truck in the sand along the Manchaug Road, Sutton side of Manchaug Pond. Usually this area is 3 plus feet under water in the spring and summer.

This is the first year I don't hear the spring peepers singing us to sleep in the evening, as the cove and adjoining wetlands are pretty dry.

Did you get a letter from Interface about the water level? I didn't get one because my husband and I don't own waterfront property - we're one row back and have waterrights to a beach area as do the rest of the property owners on our road. Even though we're one row back, my husband did complain to me of dead fish smell the other day.

This is the first year of many that one of my kids hasn't been swimming yet. I have a couple of hardy girls that take their first dip in March or April depending on when the ice melts. It's May now and the water is down just over the large rocks and boulders we stand on in the summer.

This is the first year we haven't taken a spring boat ride. Remember last year I said something about our 28 foot pontoon boat being high and dry until the mill raises the water. I took a lot of heat last year for that comment from one family who said I was trying to scare people ... well, from where I live it was true. We wait... we rely on the mill - the dam owner to take care of the water level, the weed control, the amphibians and fish, our recreation and a host of other issues.

But let's get back to being optimistic! Blog writters should be optimistic if not inspirational! Yes, today we are between a rock and a hard place - a pretty dry hard place, but here on Manchaug Pond we're used to rock. right?! We're even known for our rocks here on Manchaug! All this could change on Monday, May 5th and by Memorial Day weekend, if not before, we could be in GREAT shape!

Here's how it has to go: Monday morning the Office of Dam Safety lets Interface our dam owner and their engineering firm tell their story: what they are worried about and what they are "trying" to accomplish. Then Dam Safety tells Interface (fingers crossed and praying everyone!) not to worry about the guidelines that have been inplace for a few years as the dam is well maintained - we've seen its performance during hurricanes and the flooding in 2005 - put the flashboards in and return us to historical level!

Rain is in the future, our dam is still in great shape so we'll be up to full in no time! Don't write off the season yet!

Help make it happen! Voice your concern, tell of the impact Manchaug Pond's low water level is having in your area, email the Office of Dam Safety today:


Our 1st Vice President spoke personnally to this gentleman - Dam Safety wants to hear from you! Their guidelines and regulations look to protect us !


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